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CABA Serves As Host To Annual Benefit Gala And Board Installation Dinner

Attorney Manuel Crespo, Jr., Installed as
President of the Voluntary Bar Association

MIAMI – Feb. 17, 2015 – The Cuban American Bar Association recently served as host to its annual gala and installation of officers at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The gala raises money for the Cuban American Bar Foundation’s CABA Scholarship Fund, which in the past several years has raised more than $150,000 toward scholarships for law students and other scholars with interests that will promote excellence in the legal profession and legal services community.

More than 950 guests attended this year’s event, which featured the theme of “Swept Away to Heart of Havana at Club TropiCABA.” Guests enjoyed themed entertainment, silent and live auctions, and a raffle for a 2015 Cadillac.

Manuel Crespo, Jr., a Partner at Miami law firm Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez, Machado & Preira, LLP, was installed as the organization’s 41st President.  He has been involved with CABA for 24 years, most recently serving as its vice president and director. Crespo focuses his practice in the areas of real property transactions and civil litigation. He received his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Duquesne University, and his law degree from Boston College Law School.

At the event, Anna Marie “Annie” Hernandez was announced as President-Elect, and Ricardo Martinez-Cid was recognized as Immediate Past President. The following members of the 2015 Board of Directors were installed: Nory Acosta-Lopez; A. Dax Bello; Gina Beovides; Isabel Díaz; Maria D. Garcia; Frances Guasch De La Guardia; Javier López; Yara Lorenzo; Olivia Rodriguez; Jennifer Jimenez Perez; Jorge L. Piedra; and Wendy Polit.

As part of the event, awards were presented to outstanding members of the community. Mario Trueba and Idalberto “Bert” de Armas of Sabadell Bank received the Amigo Award. Former CABA President Marlene Quintana received the Presidential Award. The Paver Award was presented to Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court Jorge Labarga. The Special Recognition Award for Legal Legend was awarded to Jose “Pepe” Villalobos, past CABA President. Osvaldo Soto, past CABA President and one of the organization’s founders, received the Founder’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.

To top off the night, South Beach’s club “Set” DJ and dancers took over the Fontainebleau’s Sparkle Ballroom hosting young attorneys, law students and guests alike at yet another CABA first – the “23 degrees North After-Party,” a high-energy party. This year’s event attracted a record number of corporate and law firm sponsors, including: Bacardi, Sabadell Bank, The Fund/Old Republic Title Insurance Group, Brickell Motors/Ocean Cadillac, Baptist Hospital , Rene Ruiz, FPL, Liberty Mutual, Holland & Knight, Greenberg Traurig, SMGQ Law, and Roar Media. A complete list may be viewed at the Foundation’s website at

About the Cuban American Bar Association

The Cuban American Bar Association is a voluntary bar association established in Miami in 1974 to promote equality of its members; serve the public interest by increasing awareness to the study of jurisprudence; foster respect for the law; preserve high standards of integrity, honor, and professional courtesy among its peers; provide equal access to and adequate representation of minorities before the courts; facilitate the administration of justice; build close relationships among its members; support Miami-Dade’s indigent community and increasing diversity in the judiciary and legal community. More information is available at

Media Contact:
Julia Wakefield, Roar Media
[email protected]
(305) 403-2080, Ext. 114


Editor’s note: Photographs are available upon request.